My Son Thinks He's Gay
A mother asks:
My 16-year-old son is severely lacking social skills. He has no friends, makes inappropriate, embarrassing comments and has no athletic interests. He has been chatting online to a teenager in the UK. (I hope he's a teenager, that is.) The problem is that now my son thinks that he is gay like the UK teen. Should I let him continue this interchange or cut it off?
Michele Novotni answers:
Rather than emphasizing whether or not to try to cut off his interchange, an important, longer term question would be, "How can I help him improve his social skills." Social competence is one of the primary determinants of adult success.
|Social competence is one of the primary determinants of adult success.
Many people with poor social skills find the Internet a great source of social interaction because it provides access to a wide range of people and you have the ability to take your time to formulate responses. Some people also find comfort in the acceptance they find on the net.
I recommend that you try to identify the social skills that he is lacking and work with him on gaining the needed skills or obtain the help of a psychologist or coach to help him improve his social skills. He may also benefit from the help of a psychologist in sorting out his social difficulties and his questions regarding his sexual orientation.
By improving his social skills, he would be able to open a wider range of options for friends and he may not see homosexuality as his only form of social connection. This strategy would hopefully provide a long-term solution to the problem.